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Melissa Mueller: Aphrodite’s Shame: Homer, Sappho, and Eve Sedgwick

March 16, 2021 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

The Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Spring 2021 Lecture Series
New Approaches to the Ancient Mediterranean World

Zoom link
Meeting ID: 994 3191 9317
Passcode: 68989

Dr. Melissa Mueller

March 16: Melissa Mueller (University of Massachusetts)
“Aphrodite’s Shame: Homer, Sappho, and Eve Sedgwick”

Handout for talk

Abstract: Traditional critique, including intertextuality, examines relations of power, competition, and mastery. With its focus on the body, affect, and sensations both inside and outside the text, reparative reading (developed initially by Eve Sedgwick in dialogue with Melanie Klein’s notion of the reparative) encourages attentiveness to moments of shame, weakness, and vulnerability. In this talk, I sketch a reparative approach to Sappho and suggest that Sappho’s Aphrodite emerges from the traumatized (but also cruel) Aphrodite of Iliad 3 and Iliad 5. The Homeric goddess’s experiences of both shaming and being shamed are key to understanding the Aphrodite of Sappho’s lyrics and exemplify the generative force of negative emotions.

March 30: Francesca Martelli (UCLA)
“Cicero, Atticus, and the spectral life of friends (Cicero, ad Atticum 1)”

April 13: Caryn Tamber Rosenau (University of Houston)
“Woman in Drag: Queer Approaches to the Book of Judith”

April 27: Katharine Earnshaw (University of Exeter)
“The Ethics and Temporalities of Rust”


March 16, 2021
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
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